Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Visit to Kansas

I grew up in Kansas.  I was born in Lawrence, and lived the first 43 years of my life in that area, mostly in Topeka, until we moved to San Antonio in 1997.  Now that my mother is gone, I don't travel up there as much as before but I try to make a trip once a year.
One of my primary goals for my short trip to Kansas was to visit my dear friend, Pauline.  Pauline turned 100 years old on April 22nd along with her twin brother, who lives in Salina with is 105 year-old wife!
Pauline has failed a great deal recently, having fractured a hip the day after her birthday.  She was a career librarian with the American Library Association, a voracious reader, and a wonderful friend and advocate for my mother at the end of her life.  I have accompanied Pauline on two Elderhostel trips:  one to Seattle to see the art glass scene (even getting a tour of Dale Chihuly's home!), and one trip through the San Juan Islands, Victoria, and Vancouver BC.  Her memory has begun to fail her.  I really didn't know what to expect today when I prepared to visit her.
This photo was taken last year.  I drove Pauline to Salina to visit her brother, Paul.
Kansas Prairie grass
Pauline and I always drive the Skyline Parkway.
Pauline grew up in this area and we love to see it any time of year, but especially early summer!

Yes, Virginia, the buffalo still roam out here.
Just not very many of them.....

Pauline today
She enjoyed looking at photos on my ipad!
What a privilege to have such a friend as Pauline.
I don't think she recognized me when I arrived, but she had moments of clarity.   I do think she remembered me, eventually.  She seemed to phase in and out of that clarity throughout our visit.  I am so glad I spent time with her today.  She is an absolute treasure.

On my way out of town I drove by our old houses as well as the house I grew up in.  It was a bittersweet experience.  For the first time, I felt somewhat disoriented by the city I grew up in:  little subtleties in the environment that sort of threw me off.  It is strange to see all the trees I planted around the last house I owned at full maturity, knowing I could peer over the tops of them all when they were first there!
My last Kansas home (and trees!)
My "brick" installed in front of the Amelia Earhart birthplace museum in Atchison, Kansas.
Amelia was the first president of the Ninety Nines;  I am a member of the NE Kansas Chapter.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Memories of a trip to Vancouver BC

I've been thinking about a family vacation we took to British Columbia five years ago (pre-blogging era).  Maybe I have been thinking about it because it was really hot in South Texas that year, too.  What a refreshing respite from the heat!  I'm dreaming of it again.
Here are a few photo memories:
the beautiful Vancouver skyline/shoreline
2 of my daughters waiting for sunset on sunset beach
one of the numerous totems in the Uof BC Museum of Anthropology
(a must-see if you ever visit the area!)
moss covered trees in a park just north of Vancouver

 here's what it looks like when girls pose as tree trunks

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My interview on Susan Brubaker Knapp's blog!

Please stop by Susan Brubaker Knapp's blog and read my interview, which is related to the dvd-making experience with Interweave.  Thank you, Susan!  It was great fun putting it together!

While you are there, take time to look at Susan's exquisite work.  Her quilting is truly amazing.  She also has several books and dvds to inspire you.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Inspiration at the Southwest School of Art

If you are in or around San Antonio between now and mid-August I encourage you to stop by the Southwest School of Art and see the Student/Faculty Exhibition.  Also, a wonderful selection of encaustic work on paper by Michelle Belto is hanging in the main building.
The school grounds are beautiful and inspiring.  If you have time to wander, don't miss the gift shop and the grounds, especially the area behind the main building which backs up to the lovely river walk.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pincushion Party in Make-It-University in Long Beach!

Scrappy Pin Cushions!

MIU is a lottery system, so come early to put your name in the appropriate container for each day.  Arrive at least 15 min ahead of time, so if they call your name, you will get in the class.  Classes are $10 cash.
(Look for the big Make It University sigh overhead!)

Fri, July 29th - 3:00-4:00pm
Sun, July 31st - 11:30-12:30pm

Jamie Fingal and I will be teaching in Long Beach, not only as festival faculty, but also doing this fun and funky workshop in "Make It University"!  We will help you transform a used Altoid box into a fun(ky) functional pin cushion and storage box.  Come play with us!

"Microscopy" is seen in the latest Mistyfuse ad!

I am a huge Mistyfuse fan/user/evangelist, as most of you probably know.  I was excited when Iris Karp, the mastermind behind Mistyfuse fusible, asked me if she could use an image of my quilt, "Microscopy", in her upcoming ad.  This quilt shows how great the product is when used under sheers, in this case, under silk organza.  If you have never tried this product, I would encourage you to consider it.  If you are an artist who uses a lot of fusible, you will adore this product.  I prefer using it on rolls.  I have one of each!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


a block I made for Melly's "love" quilt

As many of you know, Melly Testa is undergoing surgery as I write this post.  I'm thinking of it as moving through a portal to wellness, the second step in a 3-prong offense of ridding her body of cancer.
This has been declared as National Melly Day!  If you are one who has sent a card or scarf in the past, I am asking you to find a funny card that will fill her with good cheer.  Please send it to Melly, care of me, as we have been doing in the past months.
If you do not have my address, please email me ( and I will send it to you.
I'm posting a few photos of Melly that make me smile.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ever feel like something is watching you?

This guy was leaning into my studio window for a closer look:

Friday, June 17, 2011

My dvd workshop is available for download!

I'm thrilled to announce that my surface design dvd workshop from Interweave is now available for download.  The hard copy of dvd will be available sometime around the end of June.
Please stop by the Interweave Store and pick up a copy!
Here is the dvd jacket:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Peek at my current quilt project

A couple years ago when I was in Amsterdam I took this photo:

I love everything about this photo.  I have been thinking and thinking about how to use it as a jumping off point for a quilt.  Since our upcoming exhibition theme is "The Space Between", what could be better than to play with this image and see what happens?

Easier said than done.  I finally have the quilt constructed, not-yet quilted, but I think I took it apart, added, subtracted, and generally rearranged this quilt somewhere between one and two dozen times.

I plan to soften the dark central walls with thread painting.  The extension of the alleyway is a combination of organza (tinted with both India ink and paint), dyed cotton cloth, and art paper.  I want to stitch it accordingly, too.  The black edge of the walls will be softened with a series of shades of gray.
The graffiti is dye-painted on silk habotai.
All the background cloth was either immersion dyed or manipulated with textile paint.

See the photo inset?  It is Spoonflower fabric.

The pieces of graffiti are based on some styles of work I saw in Amsterdam.  I fussy cut it out of the large silk cloth.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Garden Inspiration and color

Despite the heat, the garden looks pretty great.  Part of the reason is that I have been determined to have a fairly xeric garden.  There are loads of things that thrive in this brutal heat.  Why fight it?
One wonderful discovery is the nest just outside the front porch.   I have only caught fleeting glimpses of the female, but finally learned that I have a Northern Cardinal nest.  She is very shy, and the nest is quite well concealed. It would have escaped my attention except that I startled her off the nest late at night when I took the dog out.

honey bee on purple coneflower

daylily (and one of the few surviving daylilies transplanted from my garden in KS)

Jerusalem sage

dwarf crepe myrtles

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sue Bleiweiss' amazing new studio! Take the YouTube tour!

 I can't remember who first told me about Sue Bleiweiss.  I was looking for some unique hand-made journals, and a friend from the quiltart list sent me her way.  I believe it was Karen Stiehl Osborn, now that I think about it.  I was interested in purchasing several journals for my daughters as holiday gifts, plus one for myself.  I believe I have given several friends these lovely works of art.  They are so beautiful, inside and out.  Sort of like Sue.  Please stop by Sue's Etsy shop and take a peek at her beautiful art journals, and more.

You may recognize Sue's name from a variety of sources.  She has been featured in a multi-part article on studio construction in Studios magazine, published by Interweave.  She is also the facilitator of The Sketchbook Challenge, an online collaboration of mixed media, textile, and paper artists.   Recently, she posted a YouTube video tour of her new space.  It is absolutely "drool-worthy".

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Come Join Us in Long Beach at International Quilt Festival!

Teaching at Festival in Long Beach, CA

Jamie Fingal and I will be team teaching at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, California - July 27-31st at the Long Beach Convention Center.  We are very excited about being part of the "faculty!"
Thur, July 28th - 6 hour class - 9am to 5pm
#204 Musical Chairs:  A Painted Canvas Adventure - join us for a fun filled day of free-style painting on canvas, where students will change seats when the music stops, to create a collaborative painting on canvas.  Each student will receive a section to make the following items below -

from the painted canvas, students will create one-of-a-kind art cards, ATC, postcards and a cover for a sketchbook
Sat, July 30th - 3 hour class - 2-5pm
#432 Playful Painting on Canvas - come release your inner child and paint a collaborative canvas.  Each student will receive a section to take home.
Make-It-University - Scrappy Pin Cushions - recycle an Altoid tin to create a unique and fun pin cushion.  MIU is a lottery system, so come early to put your name in the appropriate container for each day.  Arrive at least 15 min ahead of time, so if they call your name, you will get in the class.  Classes are $10 cash.
Fri, July 29th - 3:00-4:00pm
Sun, July 31st - 11:30-12:30pm

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Quilters Take Manhattan!

Please join us for an amazing weekend of events!

quilters take manhattan

Click here for information about the events that will take place in New York.
What a fun weekend this will be!  Bring some of your guild members
and have a blast in the Big Apple!
There is sure to be a good time in the city,
so come and take a big bite out of the Big Apple!

marianne and jay event graphic

NY Mod Quilt Guild logoCityQuilterlogo